Nuclear Waste Management Research And Engagements



The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.  The AFN hosts two Assemblies a year where mandates and directives for the organization are established through resolutions directed and supported by the First Nations in Assembly (elected Chiefs or proxies from member First Nations).

In addition to the direction provided by Chiefs of each member First Nation, the AFN is guided by an Executive Committee consisting of an elected National Chief and Regional Chiefs from each province and territory. Representatives from five national councils (Knowledge Keepers, Youth, Veterans, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and Women) support and guide the decisions of the Executive Committee.

The AFN is mandated by the Chiefs-in-Assembly to work on environmental protection and pollution prevention concerns, including nuclear waste management, through resolutions 41/2017 – Environmental Protection of First Nations Land; 48/2017 – Opposition to Nuclear Waste Disposal and Abandonment; 52/2017 – First Nation Environmental Law; 65/2018 – Closing the Environmental Protection Regulatory Gap on First Nations Lands; and 17/2020 – Support for First Nations Climate Leadership, Food Sovereignty, Environmental Protection, Stewardship and Conservation, among others.

In accordance with these resolutions, the AFN intends to broaden its understanding of nuclear waste management approaches in Canada and around the world, including the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) strategy for long term management of nuclear waste in Canada, known as Adaptive Phased Management (APM), and how this would affect First Nations.


The AFN seek to raise awareness, conduct research, share knowledge, and build capacity within First Nations on the nuclear waste management process, especially the APM process which has the potential to impact First Nations across Turtle Island.  Under the APM process, used nuclear fuel will be isolated and stored in a deep geological repository (DGR) in an area with suitable geology. APM emerged from a three-year dialogue with specialists and the public that took place between 2002 and 2005. In 2005, the AFN produced a report with final recommendations on the APM process, stating that First Nations were not prepared to comment on Canada’s plan for storing used nuclear fuel and needed more information on the process.

The AFN Environment and Water Sectors are now conducting a detailed review to gain an understanding of the APM process and the potential risks to First Nations associated with storing nuclear waste in a DGR.  As part of this work, the sectors will be conducting research through the environmental scan, preparing relevant reports, and conducting engagements and focused discussions on the specific risks to First Nations arising from the storage of nuclear waste in DGRs.

To this end, the AFN is interested in engaging consultants that will support these research and engagement activities that will inform their work around nuclear waste management and the APM process.


The objective of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select a qualified individual/group to prepare a detailed report on nuclear waste management and the APM process, integrating First Nations priorities, concerns, and knowledge systems; and conducting engagements with First Nations on nuclear waste management, including the potential impacts of APM and DGRs on First Nations to inform this report.


The selected contractor/consultant, whether an individual or an organization, will be responsible for the following scope of work:

Research and Policy Analysis

The contractor/consultant shall engage in research and policy activities including:

  • Literature review of work on nuclear waste management and the APM / DGR process and its risks, for contribution into the AFN Environmental Scan.
  • Review of First Nations worldviews that are relevant to nuclear waste management.
  • Highlight gaps, level of awareness, needs/capacity related to APM/DGR processes.
  • Recommendations for integrating First Nations priorities, concerns, and knowledge systems in the risk assessment, management, and decision-making processes for nuclear waste management.
  • Development and recommendations on relevant education/public awareness materials for First Nations.

Engagements and discussion

  • Facilitate engagement sessions on First Nations views, priorities and concerns relating to nuclear waste management, including the integration of First Nations knowledge systems into APM and risk assessment/management.
  • Facilitate discussions on the potential impacts of nuclear waste management/APM on First Nations lands, waters, territories, rights, health, and wellbeing.
  • Support the AFN in providing advice to NWMO in areas such as First Nations engagement and overall direction of nuclear waste management

Meetings and Workshops

  • Attend regular meetings with the AFN on a regular basis for check ins (in-person or via teleconference).
  • Participate in other planning and strategy sessions, Chiefs Committee meetings, meetings with NWMO or other meetings as deemed necessary by the AFN.
  • Conduct workshops and meetings with technical experts, government, policy specialists and practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to research and discuss an Indigenous knowledge/Values-based approach to risk assessment.
  • Conduct meetings as necessary for validation of research.

*The AFN will be responsible for bearing the cost of meetings.


  • Initial Work Plan with timeline and approved methodology
  • Literature Review and Inception Report
  • Report(s) from Engagement sessions, meetings, and workshops, including list of participants, summary of discussions, notes among others.
  • Interim Report
  • Comprehensive Final report
  • Final Presentation 

Project Timeframe:

The work shall be completed between Contract signing date – March 31, 2024.

Schedule of dates:

Start-up meeting                                                 One week after contract signing date

Literature review and inception report               March 2023

Engagement Sessions/Summary                        June –September 2023

Progress report meetings                                   To be scheduled

Draft Report                                                        November, 2023

Final Report and Presentations                          January 31, 2024



Proponents should possess the following qualifications:

  • Knowledge and experience in qualitative/quantitative research methods, information gathering/data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and report writing.
  • Experience in facilitating focus groups and engagement sessions.
  • Significant knowledge and experience in risk assessment, risk management and nuclear waste management.
  • Strong knowledge of environmental and human health impacts of pollutants/toxic substances/hazardous substances, including radioactive waste.
  • Experience with Indigenous, and in particular, First Nations knowledge systems.
  • Substantial experience collaborating with First Nations and First Nations-led organizations trained in, and have, rigorous data custodial practices governed by OCAP® Principles.


All proposals shall be received by electronic mail (email) to [email protected] no later than October 30, 2022.

All proposals will clearly identify the name of the proponent and the note “First Nations Nuclear Waste Management Research and Engagement” in the subject line.

Late submissions will not be accepted and will be returned unopened without exception. The use of the mail or courier services for delivery of a Bid will be at the risk of the bidder.


All proposals shall include the following information:

  1. An Executive Summary outlining the background information of the proponent’s company, including contents of the proposal.
  2. Qualifications: provide a description of the proponent’s capabilities/experience specifically related to the AFN’s project requirements.
  3. A statement and description of the physical and human resources required to complete the work and respective presentations, including software and intellectual material;
  4. Project Organization: Identify the composition of the proposed project team, if any, including:
  • a) Project team members
  • b) Description of the roles of the team members
  • c) Level of experience of the team members
  1. Client References: the names of three (3) references which have used the services of the proponent . References to include the client’s name, title, contact information.
  2. Cost Breakdown: The Proponent shall provide a detailed cost breakdown for the proposed services, showing the total cost for the performance of all services, expenses, materials, deliverables, and software/hardware costs (if applicable), to be used for completion of the work. Total cost shall be in Canadian dollars and inclusive of HST.
  • A description of how the principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP®) will be applied to ensure data protection.


The AFN reserves the right to:

  1. a) reject any or all proposals received in response to this Request for Proposals;
  2. b) enter into negotiation with one or more Consultants on any or all aspects of their respective proposals;
  3. c) accept any proposal in whole, or in part;
  4. d) cancel and/or re-issue the modified version of a given RFP requirement at any time;
  5. e) award one or more contracts;
  6. f) verify all information provided with respect to a given RFP requirement, including the right to request a confirmation of the Consultant’s legal status and signed documentation; and
  7. g) award contracts without competition for follow-up work, if any, to the Selected Proponent for a given project requirement.

The principles under which all AFN projects and processes operate are:

  • Respect for First Nations inherent rights, jurisdiction and Treaty and Aboriginal rights
  • Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP®)
    • All mandates are provided exclusively by Annual General Assembly and Special Chiefs Assembly resolutions
  • Transparency to First Nations
  • Accountability to all Chiefs
  • AFN policies (link to AFN website)


The AFN will select the Proponent(s) which, in the AFN’s sole discretion, best serves the overall needs of the AFN. The following is a summary of the general considerations that will be used to determine the Proponent(s) that will be selected:

  1. Expertise of Firm/Organization submitting the proposal 20%
  2. Experience in working with First Nations  15%
  3. Proposed Work Plan and Approach 20%
  4. Experience in communications, research, strategy development, project planning, organizational development. 15%
  5. Knowledge, training, and application surrounding the principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP®) 10%
  6. Total price 20%


The following dates are set forth for informational and planning purposes and may be changed at the AFN’s sole discretion.

Deadline for submission of proposals:                           October 30, 2022

Completion of proposal evaluations:                              November 1, 2022

Finalist Interviews (if required):                                       November 15, 2022

Final Selection (date)                                                       December 1, 2022

Contract Start Date (date)                                               To be determined

The timetable is tentative only and may be changed by the AFN, in its sole discretion, at any time prior to the Proposal Submission Deadline.



Contractors must provide a firm fixed price, including administrative fees, travel, material costs, translation, printing of draft concepts and inclusive of taxes.  The total budget for this project cannot exceed $100,000 per annum.


Responses to this RFP will be considered as confidential information by the AFN and will be used solely for the purposes of selecting the successful proponent.

Clarification/ Questions

All proposals will be acknowledged.

Requests for clarification and/or questions regarding this RFP should be directed to:

Jamie Lavigne
Assembly of First Nations
55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600
Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5

Responses/ Submission

Only those submissions that meet the deadline will be considered.

Responses to this RFP must be received by the close of business (5:00 pm EST) on October 30, 2022.

Responses may be sent by electronic mail only to:

Celso CercadoREQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) – Nuclear Waste Management Research And Engagements